Posts tagged ‘getting kids outdoors’

A Memorial Day to Remember – 5 Fun Family Activities


A Memorial Day to Remember – 5 Fun Family Activities to celebrate our service members!
#MemorialDayActivities

Continue Reading May 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Activity + Craft: Nature Walk and Craft Project


Explore the outdoors with your little one(s) and collect nature materials to make cute critters! Not only will you a foster a connection with nature, your kids can also exercise their imaginations and creativity. There is so much you can find outside: nuts, rocks, sticks, leaves, petals, and more. 

Nature Animals | Let's Go Chipper

Picture from naturallymom

Chipper Playfully Teaches: Earth and Space Science, Creative Arts and Fine Motor Skills.

Adventure into the great outdoors with young children and use the natural materials as craft supplies for creating creatures from the children’s imagination or animals identified on the walks.

Collect with a Partner | Let's Go Chipper

Collect with a Partner

Timing: One Hour
Explore and collect: 15 minutes
Craft Time: 30 minutes
Extra 15 minutes:
 Travel time and padding because projects with young children will always take longer than you plan!

What you need:

  • Reusable tote to carry found treasures
  • Cardboard bases from recycled boxes and scrap paper and materials for accessorizing crafts
  • Glue and string
  • A partner or chaperone
  • Imagination
Create a crocodile | Let's Go Chipper

Create a crocodile!

Chippers Tips:

  • Explain the rules of staying together “You can play, but don’t stray!” and the project
  • Check off that everyone has their tote for collecting items. While exploring, be it in the backyard of a school facility, house, childcare center, or beyond the yard, keep children on track by talking about what they might find; the colors, shapes, texture and more.
  • Assist young children with glue or glue gun and string assembly.
  • Welcome conversation while exploring. What do you see, hear, smell and feel?
Get bit by nature...creatively! | Let's Go Chipper

Get bit by nature…creatively!

Upon returning, sit down and talk about the items in the bag and what can be made; a butterfly from leaves, a nature cake, a boat from sticks, a car from rocks and bark. Welcome the conversation and encourage the creativity!

Chipper Activity + Craft: Nature Walk and Craft Project

Image from WildlifeFun4Kids

May 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Nature Craft: Valentine’s Day Bird Feeder


Celebrate your love of nature and make a heart shaped bird seed feeder this Valentine’s Day! The birdies like Red and Robbin will sure love you back for putting some out and bird watching makes a great activity for you and the family to get outdoors and watch you winged friends stop by!

Bird Feeder Heart

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups Bird Seed (check out your local pet store or learn to make your own here!)
  • Peanut Butter (if your child has allergies, try using 2 gelatin packets and a 1/2 cup of boiling water instead!)
  • Heart Shaped cookie cutter (and tin foil or wax paper!) or silicon mold (no tin foil or wax paper needed!)
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Straws

Instructions:

  1. First, make your bird seed mixture in a large bowl. How much peanut butter you use depends on how many bird feeder hearts you want to make. A regular sized container of peanut butter to one regular sized bird bag works perfectly. The goal is to have enough peanut butter to make sure the bird feed stays together. Alternatively, if your kids have peanut allergies, use gelatin and water instead!DIY Bird Feeder
  2. Once you have your mixture, start pressing it firmly into your mold. If you are using a cookie cutter, place your cutter on top of a sheet of foil or wax paper. If using foil, some no-stick cooking spray makes it easy to remove your feeder once it dries.

Homemade-Birdfeeder-3

  1. Cut up your straws into small pieces. Stick one piece into the top of your heart. This makes a hole for your string so you can easily stick it through to hang your feeder. If you don’t have any straws around or want to forgo using plastic, just stick your pre-cut/pre-tied piece of string into your half-filled mold or cutter then add the rest of the seed mixture on top to hold in place.
  2. Once you have formed your hearts and have added your straws or stings, place on a cookie sheet and dry for a few hour (over night is best).
  3. Once dry, pull out your straws and tie through your string.Homemade-Heart-Birdfeeder-e1294930285406
  4. Now comes the fun part! Explore your back yard or school yard for the perfect place to hang your feeder. Make sure it is in a spot you can observe later.
  5. Look outside every day and observe which kids of birds you see and how long it takes for them to eat the whole feeder. The hearts not only give little birds some much needed nourishment during the cold winter months, they also add some natural sparkle to your wintery yard!

Making flower art is another fun craft with left over bird seed and dry beans. Just grab some recycled paper and glue, make your design with the glue on your paper, then pour over seed and dry!

Photo from Delightful Learning

What other craft can you make with bird seed? Let Chipper know and have fun bird watching! 🙂

February 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

Chipper for Parks: Recycle Can Craft for Conservation (FREE PRINT OUT)


“Going outside the classroom – and observing what is right there – that is where meaningful learning happens.” 
Lilian Katz, Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Chipper for Parks Badge! Connect • Celebrate • Conserve

Chipper for Parks Badge! Connect • Celebrate • Conserve

Start the new year off right by getting outdoors and supporting our national parks and open spaces! Not only do parks preserve the earth’s beautiful ecosystems and diverse animals, they help our children grow into conscientious, healthy adults. Studies show that kids who are exposed to nature, and engage with their natural surroundings, develop an appreciation for the environment and empathy for all living creatures. Nature helps us feel happier and expands our imagination. We feel calmer and more at peace in the outdoors. So with the New Year barely underway commit to connecting your children to your local parks and make a plan to visit at least one state or national park. Say “hello” to a park ranger and thank them for what they do to keep our lands available to all.

There are a number of parks with Junior Ranger programs for kids. Click this image for more information!

There are a number of parks with Junior Ranger programs for kids. Click this image for more information!

January 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is the first Fee-Free Day* of 2014 so plan a nature trip for the long weekend. Here are some Chipper Tips for camping and hiking with kids!

Chipper engages, excites and educates young children and families to become the environmental stewards of tomorrow through meaningful connections with our local, state, and national park systems. Kids delight in exploring paths, discovering critters, and playfully exercising while at the same time fostering community bonds. Get your “I’m Chipper for Parks” badge today! A portion of our profits go to a park of your choice. Learn more about our Chipper for Parks program!

Support Our Parks

Purchase a Chipper for Parks badge or create your own collections can and donate to a park!

Chipper has worked with Girl Scouts, community leaders, teachers, Park Rangers and more to help lead a new generation into the great outdoors. Chipper teaches the principals of Leave No Trace and important safety lessons to keep everyone on the path together. Read our Park Ranger Interviews to learn more about being a protector of nature!

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Teach your little one(s) more about conservation and keeping our planet clean with this fun and useful recycle craft! The majority of human waste going into landfills comes from consumer goods. We must find creative, alternative ways to reduce waste. Chipper’s recent partnership with Keep Phoenix Beautiful highlights the 5 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reconsider and Reimagine! Reimagine a recycled can or container into a cute collections bin! Place it on your kitchen counter, in the classroom and help raise funds for parks. Once filled, visit your local park or make a trip to a national park and share the joy in supporting our park systems.

What You Need:Let's Go Chipper - Chipper for Parks Collection Can

Instructions:

Chipper for Parks Collections Can Label

  1. Simply collect and clean a can, container or bottle.
  2. Print out our FREE Chipper for Parks Collection Can Label.
  3. Have your child color and write their name and the park they want to donate to.
  4. Cut out your decorated label so it fits on your can or container.
  5. Then tape (Chipper uses double-stick) or glue on to attach!
  6. Find a place for your recycled collection can.

Parks need our support. As you walk the paths share with your child that their contribution is what helps maintain paths and flora and fauna. Our parks rely on government funding and donations so every coin counts! We’re Chipper for parks and this is our “Piggy Banks for Parks.” Help us spread the idea!

Park Rangers are happy to share their knowledge about their park with our future environmental stewards and many parks run great activities and outings for kids.

Find more ways to help our parks here or consider organizing a local fundraiser! Which park is your favorite? Share your answer and pictures of your Collection Can with Chipper!

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

January 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm 1 comment

Chipper Activities: Autumn Obstacle Course + Pumpkin Patch Fun


Chipper is Feeling Funny for Fall! Don’t let the cold keep you inside. Bundle up and lets go play outside this Autumn season! Research has shown that children who play outdoors regularly are happier, healthier, and stronger. It also boosts immunity and lowers stress levels. Outdoor play not only benefits their physical and mental health, it gives children a chance to explore the mysteries of nature. Plus it’s a ton of fun!

Chipper Activities: Fun Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids

Autumn Obstacle Course

Don’t let those leaves in the yard seem daunting! Chipper is here to help parents and educators make “work” and “learning” seem fun. Make a game out of raking up your fall leaves (this can work for shoveling snow if you live in a northern climate!) by forming an obstacle course. You can even have a “prize” to motivate your little one(s) to participate. Check out these yummy yet Healthy Halloween Snacks as a treat for your little helpers once they complete the course.

Chipper Activities: Fun Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids

WHAT YOUR NEED:

  • Bags
  • 3 bean bags (optional)
  • A yard full of leaves
  • Rakes

WHAT YOU DO:

1. Design Your Course
Decide where you will build your course, what shape it will take, and what obstacles you will include. Here are some obstacle ideas to get you started:

  • Pile of leaves to crawl through
  • Bags of leaves to leap over
  • Paper grocery bags that must be filled with leaves before continuing on
  • Stations where your child must find three bean bags (or other objects) that are buried in a leaf pile
  • A huge pile of leaves to dive into as the grand finale
2. Rake Leaves
To make an obstacle course, you’ll need leaves, lots of them. Give your child a small rake so he or she can help collect the leaves you’ll need. Then arrange the leaves into the obstacle course you designed earlier. If you have two kids who want to race, make two identical courses!

Chipper Activities: Fun Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids

3. Race Through Your Course
Ready, set, go! Now it’s time to have fun. Race with your child or referee two kids racing. Or time your child as he or she runs the course. Change the obstacles to keep the fun going.

Chipper Activities: Fun Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids

4. Talk About Autumn and Leaves

  • Fall into the season. Tell your child that autumn has another name – Fall! Ask if he or she can guess where the name came from. Explain that it refers to the time of year when the leaves on some trees turn color and “fall” off.
  • Why do leaves change color? Explain to your child that leaves are green because they contain chlorophyll, a substance that helps plants make food. In fall, leaves stop making chlorophyll, and their green color fades. That’s when other colors that were underneath—the beautiful yellows, reds and oranges of fall—can show through. Ask your child to guess the most common leaf color (Answer: yellow.) Learn/teach more details for older kids!
  • Fall recycling. Help your child discover ways that nature reuses old leaves. Overturn a bunch of leaves that have been on the ground for a while. You’re likely to find insects and other creatures. That’s because leaves provide these animals with food and shelter. Look for leaves from last year, and show your child how the old leaves have begun to decay. Explain that these old, rotten leaves enrich the soil, supplying food so other plants can grow.

Pumpkin Patch Fun

Chipper Activities: Fun Fall Outdoor Activities for Kids

Try these fun pumpkin games to make Halloween EXTRA fun! Not only do they get you and your little one moving outdoors, they are a great way to spend time and connect with family! Early childhood connections are important and shape your child’s outlook for the rest of their lives. So take the time to play! Check out these cute Halloween Recycle Crafts for some indoor fun too.

WHAT YOUR NEED:

  • Pennies
  • 10 plastic bottles
  • 1 large pumpkin
  • Several small pumpkins (some may break during play)

WHAT YOU DO:

1. Go On a Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt
Pumpkins come in different shapes and sizes. While you’re at the pumpkin patch, see if you can find the roundest, the tallest, the funniest looking, the one with the curliest stem, the one with the longest stem, and one with no stem at all.

2. Bowl With Pumpkins
Partially fill your plastic bottles with water or any other material you can use for pins. Cut the stems off the pumpkins so they roll easier. Then set your “pins” on a flat, grassy surface, and start bowling with your pumpkin balls. The scoring system—or whether you score at all—is up to you!

3. Pitch Pennies Into Your Pumpkin
Carve a pumpkin and leave a wide hole in the top. Take five steps away from the pumpkin and try to pitch pennies into the pumpkin. If it’s too hard, step closer. If it’s too easy, step farther away. The person who gets the most pennies in the pumpkin wins!
4. Give Your Pumpkin to Wildlife

After Halloween, put your jack-o’-lantern and pumpkin bowling balls in your yard for local wildlife to enjoy. Squirrels like Chipper, raccoons, deer, and even many dogs will chow down with gusto on all parts of the pumpkin!

What other Fall activities do you and your family enjoy? Let Chipper know!

October 30, 2013 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

Chipper Parenting Tips: Lead By Example to Get Kids Outdoors


There are so many ways for you and your family to embrace nature in the comping new year! It is close at hand, whether it’s a the park or the playground, on your balcony, in your window box, in the yard, on the boulevard, or even growing in the sidewalk cracks. You just have to take the time to notice it! Whether kids are collecting fallen leaves, catching snowflakes for the first time, or playing in the waves at the beach, there is beauty and wonder in watching them discover the world around them.

get kids outdoors

One thing kids don’t need too much to enjoy nature is guidance. Encourage even the youngest children to explore whatever attracts them, then stand back and let them do it. One way to get you and the kids out and enjoying the great outdoors is leading by example.If you want your kids to value nature and to discover for themselves how amazing the natural world can be, from rolling in the dirt, to rolling down a grassy bank or finding slimy banana slugs after it rains, nothing sends a stronger message than if they see you out there enjoying yourself. So step outside at every opportunity! Get out side for 1 hour per day (schedule a “green hour” daily to make nature a habit!) by making a sandcastle, making a snow angel, or just rubbing your toes in the grass. Enthusiasm is contagious!

get kids outdoors

Follow by example, too. Most grown-ups can learn something from kids. They are receptive to new things and can see things in a different light. They are naturally curious. Be receptive and curious too and see the world a-new! That is one of the greatest gifts our children can bring us so take advantage of their youthful eyes. Ask questions and encourage them to do so as well. Nothing is more valuable than learning to question everything! If you don’t know the answer, admit it and then look it up together. Or make up a fun answer: This seaweed is  monster hair! These rocks are from the walls of an ancient castle! These embellishments make the outdoors fun and mysterious. Try this fun game of Follow the Leader:  Find a creek, pond, park or any place with lots of life. Appoint a leader of the kids and follow him or her (you can switch off by day or time who the leader will be). If he stops to turn over a log to see what’s beneath it, everyone else looks too. If he throws stones into the lake, so do the rest of you. If he digs in the mud and gets his pants dirty–don’t hold back! A little dirt is good for the soul 🙂 Let’s Go Chipper into the Great Outdoors today!

get kids outdoors

 

December 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Chipper Tips: Get Outdoors Daily!


Children hiking in autumnChipper suggests that everyone, not just parents, have a daily “green hour” scheduled into their day. If you feel a little overwhelmed by that, start out with a bi-weekly “green hour” or try 15 minutes of outdoor play-time per day, everyday! The key here is to put nature on the calendar so that spending time in nature becomes a habit instead or a rare occasion.Playing kids outdoors

The National Wildlife Federation recommends that parents give their kids a daily green hour–time set aside every day to play outside and interact with the natural world. This time should be unstructured (no rules) and fun! If kids are reluctant or want to play their video games instead, show then how fun it is by joining them. Have them collect natural artifacts and discuss them or listen and identify all the sounds you hear outside! Get to know local tress and animals so you can test each other. There’s so much fun to be had outdoors if you just get them out there!

Even on a rainy day, you can still get out and play together as long as you’re dressed for the weather. As E.E. Cummings wrote, the world is “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.” Being prepared to go out doors is always a good idea! Chipper has lots of great tips and activities to try outdoors in past and future blogs or check out GreenHour.org.  In 2007, the National Wildlife Federation launched GreenHour.org, an online resource providing parents the inspiration and tools to make the outdoors a part of daily life. There are many ideas there to inspire you and the kids!

Scheduling your green hour with another family can also help you time manage. Arrange a regular “Outdoors Date” with one or two other families with kids around the same age. Depending on weather and the ages and interests of your participants, this could be as simple as meeting at the playground every week or month, or something heartier, like a series of hikes or an ongoing flag football game. Do the same thing every meeting or let a different participant choose each meetings activity. Or just let the kids play with no plan! The important thing is that once it’s on the calendar, and others are depending on you, you’re less likely to make excuses and skip it. Make it a family affair by inviting grandparents, cousins, and other family members to join in. Nature is a great place to connect with family and enjoy each others time.  Let’s Go Chipper into the Great Outdoors today!

December 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm 3 comments


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